My dear Mum turns 80 in September and I'm trying to put together a special present for her. I thought about stitching her something - but I do that quite often. I want something different and (perhaps) unexpected. I am so thankful to still have my Mum. She's a strong woman who taught me lots of good traits. I am so very proud of her.
When she was diagnosed with cancer just after my trip home late 2014 I realised she wasn't invincible and she is growing older. It was quite a shock. She's always been in really good health and could walk anywhere. I was usually the one puffing to keep up with her! Luckily with treatment she is on the mend, slowing down a little, but a lot better than she was.
Anyway, the last time I was home we talked about family and history. I have always loved hearing her stories of times passed. She got out some birth certificates she had and we played around a little with trying to look back on our family history.
I've decided that I'm going to try to put together some sort of family history for her. Perhaps pull it together with scrapbooking and journal making.
Genealogy isn't easy. The people on telly make it look REALLY easy!
They seem to have no trouble finding a relative. When Mum and I first looked we weren't even sure her Dad's name was her Dad's proper name! His surname is Rowland. On his birth certificate it is spelled Rolling. And that was just the start! A lot of the names I'm coming across are spelled wrong. There are lots of 'leaves' to follow but how do you know they relate to the person you're looking for? It's a great big maze.
My husband's aunt's hobby is genealogy. She is very good at it. She goes on trips all over the country (America) and finds 'hidden' ancestors. Therein lies part of the problem. None of my relatives are in America (only me!). They are all in England. I joined the UK version of Ancestry. Yup, there are different versions.
It is fun. I find myself spending hours on Ancestry.co.uk following those little hints. I can easily get lost for a few hours at a time! But it is also quite frustrating. I am going to keep going. I have time. Her birthday isn't until September and I won't be leaving for England until July/August. I won't let frustration get the better of me but sometimes I wish I could just magic somebody from Who Do You Think You Are? to come do it for me!